I am in the middle of the loneliest battle of my entire life. While my husband is on this journey with me, there is no possible way for him to truly understand what I am going through. Infertility is a battle only women who have been through it can understand.
We have been trying to conceive for over two years. Although we do not know if the problem lies within one of us yet, I do know the toll it has and continues to take on me. Every month is a new challenge. Every cycle sends my emotions reeling.
What they don’t tell you in sex ed is that getting pregnant is not as simple as it seems. Women only release 1 egg on 1 day every month. Over 24 times now I have cried when my period arrives. Over 24 times now I have hoped and prayed that I didn’t drink too much or have too much caffeine or take ibuprofen at the wrong time of the month. All of these do’s and don’ts are exhausting.
Message boards only further the confusion with false hope. No one person’s cycle, fertility journey or pregnancy is the same. You try not to read into the symptoms and get your hopes up, and yet you want to be positive at the same time. Infertility means living in the unknown, and the reality is that it is only manageable for so long.
10% of all couples trying to conceive are given no explanation as to why they cannot get pregnant. 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility, and about 10% of women in the United States struggle to get and stay pregnant. So, we seek ways to improve our odds. We look to our workout routines, our diet, our sleep and of course our sex lives for answers.
Just look up all the things you should and shouldn’t eat for fertility. Research all the possible outcomes and ways to improve sperm motility or cervical mucus. All this information is overwhelming and keeps women feeling lost and confused.
So what is my point? Why should you care? How can you help if you have never gone through fertility struggles? My point in writing this is to open people’s eyes to this growing battle. I hope to let others going through infertility and suffering alone in silence know that I understand. As I continue to fight, I hope that more research is done about this. I encourage women to talk about their journeys openly. I ask that people be more thoroughly educated about fertility and why it matters, why the people we love matter and how we can support them better.
All I ask is that if you have not gone through it, you meet it with the same empathy you would any other person who has lost someone or is going through a hard time. I ask that you stop asking people when they plan to have kids or why they haven’t yet. I ask that you stop telling people to be sure they are ready before having kids. Simply ask them how they are doing and I pray that they feel comfortable enough to share. With so many women fighting this battle, it is time that we stop doing it alone.